What is the second largest purchase you'll ever make? Most of you probably said your car. It makes sense though. Your home is probably going to be the largest and a car is the second largest. That would be true if you didn't pay for college.
College, even a modestly priced college, is going to cost you much more than a car. Student loan debt used to pay for school has spiraled completely out of control. According to the Wall Street Journal student loan debt has now passed credit card debt to the tune of $830 billion. This debt is less expensive than credit card debt but is the closest thing we have to a debtor's prison because you can't ignore it, settle it (yet) or discharge it. Point being, you're going to pay it.
Opinions on the topic are going to vary. Some believe that college is a much needed resume filler. Others believe you can do just as good with street smarts and motivation. And still others believe that just because you CAN go to an expensive school does not mean that you HAVE to go to an expensive school.
Whatever your perspective is on the issue, one thing is clear: If you choose to get into a lot of student loan debt, it's a smart move to at least choose a school and major where there's a demonstrated track record of ROI. Law, medicine, nursing and engineering are probably safe bets. Liberal arts degrees (like mine) are fine but a $60,000 price tag, which is really $100,000 after interest, doesn't make a lot of sense unless you can pay out of pocket or fund it using grants or scholarships or mommy and daddy.
John Ulzheimer – Credit scoring and credit reporting expert and author, John is the President of Consumer Education for Credit.com. Formerly with Equifax and Fair Isaac, John shares his unique insight of the inner workings of credit scoring models and the credit reporting industry on CreditBloggers.com.